Problem

Sexual discrimination in education


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Sexist education of children
Gender bias in education
Gender-related inequality in school
Prejudicial education on basis of sex
Nature:
Sexism in education, expressed early-on in some kindergarten teachers' attitudes and in elementary school text books, reinforces sexist role assignments to children outside of school, most notably in family and peer play relationships. Sexist education inculcates the doctrines that females are physically weak, that they are dependent - either on adults or on males of any age, that they are less competent to meet real life situations, that they are more emotional than intellectual and that therefore too much cognitive education for females is a waste. In developing countries, females leave school earlier than males - the mortality of their infants increases in inverse proportion to the mothers' years of education. Sexist education of males insists that boys do well at sports, be physically strong and agile, be competitive, show aggressiveness and leadership abilities, and be ready to fight for honour. Children of either sex who do not fit these roles are stereotyped: females as tomboys, males as sissies, and even if they escape outward derision, their own inner doubts and confusions concerning their personality attributes cause considerable inner turmoil, stress, and, in too many cases, lead to juvenile suicide.
Incidence:
A 1992 American study shows that both male and female science teachers continue to give more credence to male students, as 51% of eight-year old boys and only 38% of eight-year old girls had been taught to utilize a microscope. One measure found that boys tended to call out answers to problems eight times more often than girls in the same class. The study also found that school textbooks usually provided male role models, and only one in ten books used in English classes was written by a woman.
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
09.02.1997 – 00:00 CET